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Collected by ”@jxxiii”


Written by “@jxxiii”

He Paved His Wave Without An Unanimous Decision

The College Dropout by Kanye West was the first hip-hop album I ever owned. My dad bought me the clean version from Wal-Mart. Funny story, I attended the Boys & Girls Club in middle school. I was 12 years old and I vividly remember telling Daniel, the basketball coach, that Kanye West couldn’t rap, LOL. I was young and naïve. I told him this because, I was trying to get a reaction out of him - little did I know about hip-hop nor Kanye. Daniel simply retorted “you’re crazy.” Soon after, when my dad gave me the chance to pick out anything in the store that I wanted, I picked out “The College Dropout” off the shelf. Mainly because I dissed Kanye’s rap abilities prior to taking a fair listen. I also gravitated towards the artwork of the teddy bear sitting on the bleachers, and decided to give it a chance. This soon became my favorite CD - I memorized every song lyrics, chorus, verse and skit. Kanye remained my favorite artist until J. Cole took reign in 2009 with The Warm Up mixtape. The College Dropout is an album that is so important to pop-culture and creatives. This album stresses going against societal norms and confirming while staying true to your personal goals. Although I did not drop out of college and I am pursuing my master’s degree, at times I feel tired of playing societal games. Sometimes it makes you wonder if the late nights and insurmountable piles of debt is truly worth it. On his debut album, Kanye promotes “thinking outside of the box” and “being yourself” which I believe is so important in this day and age.

Written by @jxxiii from Crown All Queens
May 31, 2019

He Paved His Own Lane By Staying “True To Self”

From his genre-shifting introductory album, TrapSoul many felt his sophomore album True To Self did not live up to the expectation, hype and anticipation as his debut. As much shit as people gave Bryson Tiller for this album, I just don't understand because True To Self is a decent album. Critics alike must understand that Bryson Tiller's initial buzz arose from the Soundcloud platform and that he is still maturing in his artist development and as a recording artist. Honestly, I can't say that True To Self is better than TrapSoul but I can say that there are many album cuts that I appreciate and other cuts I wish would have been "cut" from the tracklist. In my opinion, True to Self was too long and did not flow as seamlessly and cohesive as TrapSoul, which made me wonder who A&R'ed this project. Having many songs on albums and projects is a new practice by labels to increase streams by taking a “playlist” approach, but at the same time it’s annoying and tends to dilute the quality of albums – The album intro sets the tone for the album. Tiller sampled SWV’s “Rain" for "Rain On Me". What makes me love Tiller's music so much is his consistent use of Trap instruments. He has truly made a mark with Trap music and the trap music in his songs always shine through. The introduction track has a smooth trap beat with Tiller telling his girl to cry on him – I fucked heavy with "No Longer Friends" I've been in this situation so many times, I felt like Tiller was singing my life. I honestly used to listen to this song every day before work. We all been in that scenario where your significant other gets jealous of your close "guy" or "girl" friend. The plot twist is you actually have deep feelings for them whether romantically involved or not. I believe Tiller champions on touching on relationship topics that resonate well in his music. "Don't Get Too High" was another dope cut but it felt less exciting as "No Longer Friends" which was more heartfelt. "Don't Get Too High" shows the more empathetic side of Tiller, caring for his girl's wellbeing telling her not to overdo it with the "drugs". The sentiment was nice but I felt this song was type boring – “Blowing Smoke” shows the more rowdier side of Tiller. I love when he talks his "Young Pen Griffey" shit. It reminds me of his "Rambo" days. Tiller treads lightly on the line between a rapper and a soul-singer with his hard-hitting bars and lusty harmonies. “Blowing Smoke” has a dope hook but again, this song is sonically boring when compared to all the sonically pleasing songs on TrapSoul. Tiller did allude to having problems with his old manager, I wonder if this song was a shot to that manager. Tiller was really talking that talk on this track.

Written by @jxxiii from Crown All Queens
May 10, 2019


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Collected by ”@jxxiii”


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A&R/Music Executive Founder of CAQ Records